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In the Spotlight- HCC Radio Segment

In the Spotlight- HCC Radio Segment

When you tune into HCC’s internet radio station,
The Dragon, you won’t be able to miss the station’s new sound or the familiar voice
of its new program director. I have uh 30 years of experience in commercial
radio.. the last 18 years I was host at Mix 1065 in Baltimore as JoJo Girard um.. at two
I-I was the leader of two shows, JoJo and Kenny for 12 years and JoJo and Reagan for
the last 6. And uh I did morning radio on four different markets in the United States
and one in Mexico. As program director, Sheltraw’s first order
of business was to focus the station’s playlist. They were playing in an adult alternative
format but there was no structure to it. Um not that the music was bad it just wasn’t
structured. So what I did was I divided it up into categories; current and oldies and
the-that will rotate at a fairly even rate so the biggest change I did was categorize
the music.. and make it more current, playing a lot more modern hits. Although his background is in music radio,
Sheltraw has continued some of the station’s talk programming. There were two shows on the air that were
different from music format… there was A Look Ahead, which was a look at um the various
events going on around campus that ran daily and then um one of the uh employees here at
HCC did a jazz/talk program which was half music half talk. So what I did is I retained
those two shows and then there was also a sports talk show uh pertaining specifically
to Howard Community College sports. And I thought that was well done and and it was
self sufficient they took care of it themselves so that was retained. In redeveloping HCC Radio, one of Sheltraw’s
biggest goals is to increase student involvement. Working with him to achieve this is Assistant
Radio Program Director and HCC alum, Cris Oviedo. As a graduate of HCC’s Television
and Radio Program, Oviedo knows the importance of hands on experience for the students. I started as a student then I got a job here
and that has helped me gain confidence you know.. and-and move forward.. forward with
my career so.. I invited students to do the same thing. I invite them to take advantage
if they have.. that we have this wonderful person here working with us now you know..
Howard brings a lot of experience… he teaches them you know he lets them go in and do their
thing and then they bring something out to him and he will tell them. He’s like you know
this works and this we can work on making it better so that it actually can air. So
I’ve seen a few students come in with projects and after a few weeks they’ve been on the
air. That’s really exciting, that’s really great for students to have that opportunity
to just be on air and have that on your resume, I think it’s great. Oviedo is also responsible for adding Spanish
language programming to the station. Cris is from Ecuador originally and um she
when I got here said I would like to do a Latin show and I said- go for it. Um she’s
really passionate about that music, I think it’s an emerging uh format in-in professional
radio. I mean every city now has uh spanish language and latin music focused show or station
so I thought that was a good idea.. and I think also too it gives voice to that side
of the HCC community… Taking into account HCC’s diverse student
population Sheltraw and Oviedo developed programming that enables any HCC student to get involved
with the station. You have students of all ages, of all backgrounds,
and they also are working.. a lot of them are part time or putting themselves through
school that way. So their time uh availability is limited and so what me and Cris did is
that we came up with uh ways they can be involved for as little as 10 minutes a week.. and so
we put together a little newscast which highlights things going on around campus that day that
they can come in and record after class and it’ll only take up five minutes of their time.
Sheltraw has enjoyed working with the students. I think the experience for me, I didn’t know
what to expect coming in, and I think it’s been more rewarding then I thought. There’s Adam who came in here with a nugget
of an idea and then worked at it and kept developing it and-and seeing that development
in him was-was rewarding. The future of HCC Radio looks bright under
Sheltraw’s direction. I’d like to take uh to get people out on the
field and do more field recording… um go to events and interview people out on location..
the more students involved the better… and-and also I think there’s a … there’s a gap,
there’s an idea that I have which is kind of large scale is that Howard County doesn’t
have really a media voice. It’s kind of stuck between Washington and-and Baltimore or now..
if we could start putting together shows for the community at large that would be kind
of good too. You can listen to HCC Radio, The Dragon, by
visiting or by downloading the Live365 app to your
smartphone. If you’d like to find out more about the station, contact Howard Sheltraw
at [email protected] or call 443-518-3029

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